Last week’s post covered the questions of what the panelists discussing social media are doing at their firms, and the challenges they’ve faced.  This week’s looks at their social media policies and the effect of the approval process in blogging. 

Social Media Policies

We next covered the question of social media policies, and whether firms are looking only at what their attorneys and staff are doing professionally, or also at their personal social networking habits.


Continue Reading Social Media – What Are Mid-Sized Firms Doing?

Following my LinkedIn presentation at our Annual Meeting, we had a panel discussion about what some of our law firms are doing with social media.  I was joined by Charles Wander of Fladgate LLP in London, David Ellenhorn of Ogden Murphy Wallace, PLLC in Seattle, and Bill Holder of Clark Wilson LLP in Vancouver.

Because we had a rather in-depth discussion which I think raises some interesting points and questions I’d like to get your feedback on, I’ll be breaking the post up into two – part one focuses on the social media activities that the firms represented on the panel are engaging in, and some of the challenges they’ve been faced with. 


Continue Reading Social Media – What Are Mid-Sized Firms Doing? Activities & Challenges

Although I did attend a morning session on Wednesday on client retention, it ended up being a bit of a vendor commercial – and not for something I felt I wanted to endorse on Zen. So instead, we’re jumping right ahead to Maximized Marketing: Budget Boundaries and Successful Strategies for Small to Mid-Sized firms.

The session was a bit introductory, but with over half the room saying that they were new to legal marketing, it made sense. Plus, it was a good refresher for the rest of us, and great to hear what a Managing Partner had to add to the session.

The session included Marguerite Downey, Director of Communications & Client Services for Adduci Mastriani & Schaumberg LLP and Patricia A. Harris, Esq., Managing Partner for Zetlin & De Chiara LLP.

Not only was most of the room new to legal marketing, but the majority of the audience also served as the sole marketer at their firm.  Although this can present difficulties, as the speakers pointed out, having a committee of one isn’t such a bad thing!  They also said that you can leverage limited resources efficiently with creative solutions at a smaller firm. 

Patricia introduced herself by saying that she has something in common with the marketers in the room – "No one wants us in their office." This got a laugh out of everyone before we jumped into their presentation.


Continue Reading Maximized Marketing: Budget Boundaries and Successful Strategies for Small to Mid-Sized Firms

You may not be surprised to learn that during the 2011 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference, I attended the session on Effectively Leveraging Social Media as a Business Development & Marketing Tool. And it was definitely a valuable session.  

The panel was moderated by Josh Fruchter, Principal at eLawMarketing, and featured Melanie Green, Director of Business Development & Marketing at Baker Daniels, Andrea Stimmel, Business Development Director, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle, and Russell Thomas, Director of Media & Public Relations at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice.

The panel began by asking who in the room worked at a firm that was tweeting, had a Facebook page, a LinkedIn profile, or blogs – the majority of the room was in this category.  Law firms lean more towards LinkedIn than Facebook based on the show of hands in the room, though a few of those on Twitter said they felt Facebook had value as well.  

The panel had crowdsourced questions from the attendees in advance of the session through the LMA Conference’s LinkedIn group, and the panel was built around this.  


Continue Reading Effectively Leveraging Social Media as a Business Development & Marketing Tool – An LMA Recap

Sometimes, I read someone else’s posts and am so inspired by them, I just can’t keep my mouth shut.

Such is the case this morning with Nancy Myrland’s latest post, "Social Media: It’s Time…Embrace it Already!"

As Nancy said:

Social Media are being used by employees of all ages and interests. You can no longer keep these communication tools out of their lives during the work day just as you can’t keep email, telephone and face-to-face communication away from people. These are tools that are here to stay, and will become a large part of every business around you, so it’s time to:

  • Become familiar with them.
  • Frame them.
  • Train people on them.
  • Monitor them.
  • Integrate them in to your business and marketing plans.
  • Then repeat all of these steps regularly.


Continue Reading Social Media – Why Are We Still Afraid of it?

The short answer?

Yes.

The slightly longer answer? It depends – on the firm and its strategy, and on the consultant.

Let’s talk about firms and lawyers first – some people have claimed that lawyers need consultants to explain social media tools and how to use them, while others have claimed that lawyers can figure out these tools themselves.

And that’s where the "it depends" comes in.  Lawyers are well-educated, intelligent individuals – they’ve graduated law school and passed the bar, haven’t they? So they can certainly figure out these social media tools. It’s not rocket science.

The better question is, should they spend the time doing so?


Continue Reading Are Social Media Consultants Really Necessary for Law Firms?

On Wednesday, December 8th, the ILN offered a webinar with Freesource’s Nathan Egan on "LinkedIn for Lawyers." Because of all the great information in the webinar, I have broken this up into a few posts, with Part I and Part II being published last week.

If You Build it, They Will Come

Nathan said that one of the common objections for lawyers using LinkedIn is that they’re too busy to do any of this, let alone "build a network."  But he assured the audience that they already have a network, built over their careers. They don’t need to build a new network on LinkedIn, just capture the existing network.

He said that LinkedIn does their best to automate this process, allowing users to upload their contacts from an email program. Users can have very few connections and in as little as an hour, send out 100 meaningful connection requests to their network. In the next day or so, those people will connect with you and you’ll have a nice network.

Nathan said that once users have built the network of people they know, continuing to develop it becomes a case of management over time. It should integrate with your work flow, if you’ve set LinkedIn as your home page, and as you see new connection opportunities, you can pick them off one at a time.


Continue Reading Webinar Re-cap: LinkedIn for Lawyers with Nathan Egan Part III

On Wednesday, December 8h, the ILN offered a webinar with Freesource’s Nathan Egan on "LinkedIn for Lawyers." Because of all the great information in the webinar, I’m breaking this up into a couple of posts, with Part I being published yesterday.

Now let’s jump right into Part II

Your External Profile – A Brand Beacon

Nathan then took the audience through an individual LinkedIn profile, saying that it can be a beacon for your brand.  He said that in social media, we talk a lot about "inbound marketing" – creating the context for people to come to you – and the profile is really where it all starts in terms of positioning.

Most firms have put lots of money into their corporate websites, which are the umbrella marketing portal for the firm.  Nathan said that they’re looking to help people understand that the LinkedIn profile, the social assets of the firm (which are the people), are now sub-domains of the corporate website.

They have the potential to drive search engine optimization activity back to the corporate website.  Nathan said that by hard linking and key wording the profile in a meaningful way, with the keywords that the firm would want to be found for, they create a tremendous lift in their marketing efforts very naturally and passively.

Nathan said that the idea is to make LinkedIn work for the attorneys in a way that doesn’t take a lot of time. It does involve some upfront work to get it going, but he said the investment is well worth it.  Once the profile is up, running and polished, it becomes a passive part of your professional world.


Continue Reading Webinar Re-cap: LinkedIn for Lawyers with Nathan Egan Part II